Isaiah 62:6-7 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.
This passage is the inspiration for multiple groups that currently pray for Israel and for the Church. The NIV is interesting in that it speaks not only of the watchmen not resting, it also speaks of giving God no rest. The Japanese simply says, “Don’t be quiet” for both. The Japanese is interesting in that where the NIV says, “You who call on the Lord,” it says, “You whom the Lord remembers.” I find myself wanting to know the original text there! Since Isaiah was the one book of the Old Testament that was found intact among the Dead Seas Scrolls, that should be fairly definitive. In any case, the point is that God calls some people as intercessors for big things, like nations. Intercession is a high privilege that is available to every child of God, but it is also the specific assignment and gifting of some individuals. We are all to pray for others, which is essentially what intercession is all about, but as Paul makes very clear in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4, not everybody has the same job. God equips each of us for the work He has prepared for us, but we are responsible to take what He has provided and exercise and grow it, as faithful stewards. This is what the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25) is all about. An interesting thing about such things is that we all tend to expect other people to be just like us, and are surprised when things that are natural and easy for us are difficult for others. That really becomes a problem when we condemn others for not feeling the urgency we do for doing particular things. Intercession is no exception. As I have already said, not everyone is to be what might be called a “full time intercessor,” even though every believer is to intercede.
As a pastor I certainly pray for others a great deal, but intercession isn’t my main assignment. I have noticed that the devil hates intercessors, because he fears the power they wield. I can think of more than one such person who is currently not living close to the Lord at all, because the devil has deceived them into focusing on themselves and their own problems. That’s the opposite of intercession! Interestingly, I am to intercede for them, that they may be liberated from the traps of the enemy to move into what God has planned for them! That’s part of my work in “preparing God’s people for works of service.” (Ephesians 4:12) I can’t do it all myself, and to this point I have tried to do that far too much. Rather, I need to be asking God to show me who He has prepared for each job, so that I may come alongside them and train and encourage them. That’s a major part of my intercession.
Father, thank You for this Word. I’m still not good at delegation, but I think I’m growing. Help me indeed do what You have planned for me, (Ephesians 2:10) so that believers may be birthed and trained and matured, to be a mighty army for Your kingdom and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!